Office of Indian Education Student Artist Competition


The 2024 Student Artist Competition is now open! View details below.
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Are you an American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander artist, writer or videographer? If so, the Office of Indian Education’s Student Artist Competition (SAC) might be for you! The 2024 competition theme is “My Native Language.” Please use the guiding questions below as you create your entry.


Guiding Questions in developing your submissions:

Why do you love your Native language?
What is your favorite word in your Native language?
Why is it important to preserve and use your Native language?
What is the power, beauty, and impact of Native language?
What do you envision as the future of Native languages?
How do you feel when you hear your Native language?


Overview of categories

Art Writing Video
Open to students in early childhood through grade 12 Open to students in grades 4 through 12 Open to students in grades 4 through 12
Painting, drawing, textiles, printmaking, mixed media, photography, computer art Personal narrative essay


1-2 pages, 12-point font

Personal performance piece


No longer than 3 minutes

Must be submitted as at least one and up to three photos of the artwork


Must be submitted as a JPG, JPEG, PNG or PDF file

Must be submitted as a PDF file Must be submitted as an MP4 file

Deadline for the 2024 competition is March 8, 2024. Students may enter all three competition categories but may submit only one entry per category. Students under 18 must have a parent and/or guardian provide consent to participate through the online entry form. AI generated art will not be accepted.

Student Artist Entry Form

Download the flyer shown below


Have additional questions? Email

  1. Eligibility: Contest entry is restricted to works as described in Method of Entry below. All entries should relate to the contest theme “My Native Language” and should show the importance of education to Native youth. Content must not (1) promote illegal behavior; (2) support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice; (3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; (4) violate rights established by law or agreement; (5) invade the privacy of any person; or (6) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by the OIE in its sole and conclusive determination.
This Student Artist Competition is open to all U.S. residents, who as of the contest date are in an early childhood program or grades PK-12, and are of American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander descent. Winner must be in compliance with all contest rules. Entrants will be judged in the following grade bands for each category:
  • Art
      • Early Childhood and Pre-kindergarten
      • Kindergarten through Grade 2
      • Grade 3 through Grade 5
      • Grade 6 through Grade 8
      • Grades 9 and 10
      • Grades 11 and 12
  • Writing
      • Grades 4 and 5
      • Grade 6 through Grade 8
      • Grades 9 and 10
      • Grades 11 and 12
  • Video
      • Grades 4 and 5
      • Grade 6 through Grade 8
      • Grades 9 and 10
      • Grades 11 and 12
  1. Method of Entry: The Student Artist Competition period begins November 1, 2023, and ends March 8, 2024. Winners will be showcased at the 2024 Native Language Summit. Each contestant must include a valid e-mail address. Participants may enter each competition category only once and may submit as individual entrants only (no group submissions are permitted). Upload your entry no later than midnight Eastern time on March 8, 2024. There is no entry fee.
The Entry Form, in JotForm, must be completed online. Contestants must complete all fields and information requested on the online entry form. A digital parental consent signature must be included in each Entry Form for participants under the age of 18. In addition, your digital entry submission must be uploaded as part of the entry form. Do not attempt to submit your entry through regular email, as the file size will be too large. Any work submitted for the Contest must meet all the following specifications (any other submissions will be disqualified — no exceptions):
  • Art
    • Artwork may include, but is not limited to, painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, photography, computer art and textiles.
    • Artwork must not be AI generated; artwork must be original.
    • Artwork should be submitted online in the form of at least one photograph of the artwork and up to three photographs as needed to capture the entirety and intricacy of the artwork. One photo must contain the full artwork and the two optional photos may be used to show alternate angles and/or details.
    • Artwork photos may be submitted as PDFs, JPGs, JPEGs or PNGs only.
  • Writing
    • Writing pieces should be a personal narrative essay.
    • Writing pieces must not be AI generated, they must be original pieces.
    • All entries must be typed, no more than 2 pages long, and use a 12-point font.
    • Writing pieces may be submitted as PDFs only.
  • Video
    • Videos should be personal performance pieces.
      • All entries should begin with a 5-second title screen containing the title of the video, entrant’s name and entrant’s email address. The title screen does not count toward your time limit.
      • All entries should be no longer than 3 minutes.
      • Video entries must not be AI generated, it must be original content.
      • Videos may be submitted as MP4s only.
  1. Native Language Use: Entries using Native language for all or part of the work are accepted and encouraged. To allow for adequate and appropriate contest judging, please include an English translation or subtitles.
  1. Ownership: Entries submitted in this Contest should not already have been used in other promotions or committed to other entities for any use, whether online or offline. Contestants must have sole ownership rights to the work used for Contest entry. By submitting a work for Contest entry, the contestant warrants and represents that he/she consents to the use of the image in print and to its posting on the Internet (including social media outlets) in connection with the Contest and other marketing by the Office of Indian Education. By entering the Contest, each contestant agrees that OIE may publish his or her digital image, with credits to the Contestant; make derivative works from or otherwise use his or her digital image entry and other entry materials for any purpose in any media, in perpetuity, without limitation or additional permission or compensation, except where prohibited by law. OIE retains sole discretion to determine if an existing agreement represents a conflict, and to disqualify the entry from the Contest if needed.
  1. Deadline for Receipt of Entries: Contest entry closes immediately after midnight ET on March 8, 2024. Entries submitted after that time will not be eligible for the Contest.
  1. Selection and Notification of Winners: OIE will review all qualified entries and select the first-, second- and third-prize winners in each grade band in each contest category. Winners will be featured at the Native Language Summit in October 2024. Winners will also receive an email notification in advance to facilitate their attendance and participation in any SAC related events. Odds of winning depend on the number of entrants.
  1. Prize: The Student Artist Competition is a chance to be recognized and have your work seen by people throughout the United States. Winners will have their work highlighted at the Native Language Summit, displayed at the U.S. Department of Education, featured in a virtual showcase, and featured on the OIE website.
  1. Participation: All decisions regarding disqualification of entries shall be at the sole discretion of the Office of Indian Education. OIE is not liable for lost, late, delayed, damaged, or incomplete email or uploads, for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender or the Office of Indian Education. In the event of a dispute, each entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the email account that was registered for the Student Artist Competition. For these purposes, an email account holder shall mean the natural person assigned to such email account by the Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with such email account. OIE is not responsible for any liability pertaining to copyright violation.
  1. General Release: By entering the Student Artist Competition, contestants release the Office of Indian Education from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damage of any kind whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the Contest or with the acceptance or possession of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light).
  1. Sponsor: The Contest is sponsored by the Office of Indian Education, whose decisions regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Contest shall be final and binding in all respects. The Office of Indian Education will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Contest Rules or in other materials related to the Contest. If you have any questions regarding this Contest, or to obtain information about the winners after the close of the Contest period, please email us at

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